This poem, written by a new friend in
response to one by my daughter Damaris
which ends "listening, waiting to hear the
joining of the flock," is dedicated to Demi
and printed here with the author's consent.
Flocks, schools, swarms, hives, herds –
the animals move instinctively together;
for them, being is belonging.
We humans move awkwardly,
doubting ourselves, distrusting others,
we forget our animal nature.
Feathered wisdom has three rules:
Don't crowd your neighbor,
That's all they need -
this murmuration of starlings -
to make their majestic migrations;
angelic calligraphy in the sky.
We die, yearning to align and cohere,
forgetting that whether we're
just arriving or just leaving this life,
we're always flocking home.
–Rebecca Armstrong, 2019
2019 Jacqueline Jackson